Why Should I Buy?
Some of the reasons to own vs. rent or buy additional property include tax deductions, long term appreciation in value leading to equity and savings, predictability in monthly housing expenses, stability and pride of ownership. Your living and/or employment situation may change as well and you could find yourself wanting to upsize, downsize or relocate. Property ownership can be an excellent investment, whether you are looking for your first home, next home, dream home, or a rental property.
When Should I Buy?
The bottom line is when you feel ready to buy it is the right time for you. If your debt to income ratio and credit are good and/or you have cash- it is time to speak with your REALTOR® about your goals, analyze the market and put a purchase plan together.
What Can I Afford To Buy?
Many buyers want to go look at property before “pouring the foundation” for a successful purchase. The first element should be the financing if you need a loan. Once you have established a relationship with a lender you want to work with, explore your options, what you qualify for, and what you are comfortable with, then you and your REALTOR® can go on the hunt for the perfect property for you.
Where Should I Buy?
If you are buying a rental property your criteria may be different than for your primary home. Your REALTOR® can analyze properties from an income producing standpoint now and in the future. For a primary residence, things to consider include proximity to employment, family, friends and activities you engage in, schools, neighborhood safety, future appreciation in value and overall comfort.
Why Should I Sell?
Do you want to upsize or downsize? Change neighborhoods? Move out of the area? Invest? Do you have equity (market value of your home minus what you owe)? Being clear about your intentions, and discussing these with your REALTOR®, will make it easier to determine the most appropriate option for your financial, lifestyle and real estate goals.
When Should I Sell?
Establish a time frame and create an action plan with your REALTOR® to meet your goals. Markets can vary by geography and time of year, so discussing your personal needs, timing and market conditions is an important part of planning. In a seller’s market, inventory is low and homes sell quickly, often with multiple offers. In a buyer’s market, listings can sit for a while before the right buyer comes along. In an area like San Diego, where the weather is not an important consideration, there tend to be good opportunities to sell year-round.
How Do I Prepare My Property For Sale?
Property-wise, your REALTOR® will recommend pre-market improvement projects that provide a good return on investment including staging. Home improvements can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars depending on the condition of your home. If cash is scarce you may choose to sell your home “as-is” understanding the end result will likely be less money gained from the sale. Emotionally, your REALTOR® will guide you on what to expect during the sale process from the day the sign goes up, to the day escrow closes, so you have a realistic expectation of what will be asked of you and how the process may effect your household.
How Do I Sell and Buy Successfully?
If you are going to buy again do you know if you need to sell your current property first or can move forward on a purchase while stilling owning your current property? If you are selling and buying investment property you will want to consult with a CPA and financial advisor and look into a 1031 Exchange to defer taxes. If you are selling a primary residence, you will want to meet with a lender to review your debt-to-income ratio, assets and credit to determine if you can buy without selling your existing home or will need to sell in order to get a new mortgage. The best loan terms are generally with a 20 percent or higher down payment, but there are loan options available that require as little as 3 percent down. If you have cash and/or the green light from a lender, you’re in a great position to start shopping for a new home before selling your current home. If not, it is best to get your home under contract and make a “contingent” offer before getting into contract on a new home. Your REALTOR® will discuss recommended timing and logistics with you so you have a with a solid plan